HC Deb 01 March 1917 vol 90 cc2173-4W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller whether shipowners who have contracts placed for cargo-carrying steamers, which are not commenced and the construction of which is deferred in order to enable standardised ships to be built, will have the option of taking a standardised ship when completed in lieu of the one which has been deferred?


The standard ships which are being built to the order of the Ministry of Shipping are the property of His Majesty's Government.


asked whether the Shipping Control Department are placing orders for standardised ships of the new type with yards which have been in the habit of producing, and are equipped for, standard cargo vessels of another type which has proved to be suitable; and, if so, whether this in effect de-standardises and disorganises the present system of such yards, and thus causes waste of time and money?


The programme of standardised cargo shipbuilding which is being carried out is designed, under expert advice, to produce for the national use, in the shortest possible space of time in the given circumstances, vessels specially designed to meet the conditions of war, and it is not the case that these standard ships have been substituted for vessels which are equally suitable. As to the latter part of my hon. Friend's question, the standard programme is not one of disorganisation; on the contrary, it is a method of organisation which economises time, material, and labour.